900 now evacuated in Taylor Bridge fire

900 now evacuated in Taylor Bridge fire
KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. -- According to the Seattle Times, the firefight will be from the air this afternoon due to the blaze expanding too quickly. It would be more effective to fight it aerially than from the ground.

More than 900 people have evacuated their homes. The Red Cross says just a dozen people stayed at a shelter in Cle Elum overnight. There was a second shelter set up at Munson Hall on the CWU campus. The Red Cross says most people are staying in hotels or with friends who live away from the fire lines.

Up to 500 homes are without power due to the fire.

The Governor signed a declaration of emergency that brought in the National Guard Tuesday afternoon.

FEMA authorized use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for Taylor Bridge Fire. Request approved early this morning. At the time of the request, fire was threatening 500 homes (450 primary). The fire was also threatening major power transmission lines and a wind turbine power generating facility in the area.

Smoke has caused “very unhealthy” air quality conditions according to the Washington State Department of Ecology air quality monitoring site in Ellensburg. Air quality is expected to be in the unhealthy range at least throughout the week. Everyone should try to limit their outdoor activity, avoid excessive exertion, and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke or other respiratory irritants. Those with chronic breathing problems should stay indoors as much as possible.

300 homes remain at risk. The fire is still 0% contained and growing. Most recent estimates had the size at more than 27,000 acres. The most dangerous side of the fire is the northeast portion.

Kittitas County Fairgrounds has more than 125 animals at their shelter, including horses, llamas, pigs, goats and rabbits. The animals have minimal health issues, but it's believed hundreds of animals may be running free in the county.

600 firefighters are on the scene, including more than 100 inmates from the Department of Corrections.